This paper is an attempt to summarize existing knowledge on the importance of woody plants in savanna and explore measures, based on ecosystem dynamics, which can be utilized to restore encroached areas more successfully. It is hypothesized that a more stable environment can be created by maintaining or restoring savanna structure (large trees). In a structured savanna, large trees are able to suppress the establishment of new seedlings, while maintaining the other benefits of woody plants like soil enrichment and the provision of food to browsing herbivore species. Effective restoration of encroached areas should not be considered a once- off event, but rather a long-term commitment.
Journal of Environmental Management